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Marines bid adieu to protectors of Haditha Dam

HADITHA, Iraq – Marines operating in the Haditha-triad region recently bid farewell to Azerbaijani soldiers who have spent the past six months providing internal security for hundreds of Marines headquartered at the city’s large dam.

A change of command ceremony here July 13, 2006, marked the end of a six-month tour of duty in Iraq for one group of the soldiers and the beginning for another.

Azerbaijan is a former Soviet Union state located in southwestern Asia bordering the Caspian Sea between Iran and Russia and is slightly smaller than Maine.

The dam is occupied by the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, who have spent the past four months combating insurgents and training Iraqi soldiers and police.

The soldiers support the Marines by providing perimeter security around the dam, escorting Iraqi workers and protecting the battalion’s command and control center.

By Sgt. Roe F. Seigle

Combat Correspondent

3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment